By Kelly Ann Tallent
Special to Catholic Times
“God created man in His own image… male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). This verse taken from Sacred Scripture is used by the Catholic Church to proclaim the universal truth that all mankind is created equal. “We are one human family whatever our national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences. We are our brothers and sisters keepers, wherever they may be.” This teaching can be difficult for some, but this should not be difficult for Christians because God has given us the ability to see with more than our eyes.
As Catholic Christians, we are given seven beautiful ways of seeing through the eyes of faith, but in this article, we will only focus on two: The Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Communion. A Sacrament, “which is a visible sign of an invisible reality,” gives humanity a tangible means (something that can be seen, touched, heard, smelled, or tasted) and fuses it with the faith which God has commanded. For instance, in the Sacrament of Baptism, the water is the visible sign of the truth that “we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God… members of Christ… incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission” (CCC 1213).
The Sacrament of Communion has a specific correlation to the above-mentioned verse, and it is here where we will draw an even deeper understanding of this call to see with more than our eyes. The bread and the wine, which is the visible sign, is transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ. No one can see this happen, just as no one can see the invisible reality of Baptism, yet we have the faith that this visible sign has become what Christ proclaimed: “Take it; this is my body. This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many” (Mk 14:22-24).
When we believe this truth, and spend time adoring Christ in the Eucharist, adoring Christ in others is how we share in God’s way of seeing Christ in us. We no longer see national, racial, ethnic, economic, and ideological differences, we see Christ. We see the image of God (Jn 14:9). Just as Christ sees us and we see Him, so too can we truly see others and treat them with the love in which Christ showed us when He carried His cross to Calvary.
This article originally appeared in www.missiodeicatholic.org, reprinted with permission. Missio Dei was founded by Phillip Hadden, parishioner of St. Alexius in Beardstown